The British attack
Te Kapotai (12 June 1845)

In mid-May, the 58th regiment attacked the Te Kapotai tribe. A Te Kapotai contingent had been present when Kororāreka went up in flames, and the British believed they were in possession of “plunder” from the destroyed township. Joining the British troops were 100 or so Ngāpuhi from several different hapu, who were seeking utu (repayment) for their defeat at the hands of Te Kapotai some 30 years prior.

The British attack Te Kapotai Pā in the Waikare Inlet. 

By G. Bridge. From the Alexander Turnbull Library ref. A-079-004

The attackers attempted to surprise the Te Kapotai , heading up the river in small boats under the cover of darkness. The intention was to “prevent the escape of the natives"1 and to inflict punishment for the loss of Kororāreka. In summary, Te Kapotai were not in a strong position to defend their pā, so they chose to withdraw. There was fighting in the bush, mostly involving the Ngāpuhi troops allied to the British. Meanwhile, the British troops set about plundering and burning down the Te Kapotai Pā. No goods from Kororāreka were discovered within the Te Kapotai Pā.

Major Cyprian Bridge, diary, 15 May 1845